Approach and vision for the OSF Preprint infrastructure

January 15th, 2020, Sara Bowman, Nicole Pfeiffer

OSF preprints blog thumb

COS built and maintains the OSF preprints infrastructure in support of the mission to improve the openness, integrity, and reproducibility of research. We believe that open source, open access preprint servers facilitate new models of scholarly communication across research disciplines and geographic regions, thereby improving accessibility and speed of discovery. The infrastructure currently supports 26 communities operating their own preprint servers, determining their own editorial focus, licensing requirements, subject taxonomy, branding and logos, and moderation and withdrawal policies.

As part of the COS investment to improve scholarly communications in support of the COS mission, we aim to collaborate with external groups like ASAPbio and Scholcomm Lab in analyzing the adoption and impact. We appreciate the resources and effort provided to accomplish our shared goals of gathering data and analyses to understand current adoption and ways to accelerate. 

These are some highlights of the COS approach and vision for the OSF Preprint infrastructure:

  1. The OSF Preprints infrastructure isn’t one preprint server, but rather 26 discrete services, each operating independently to best meet the needs of its unique community.

  2. OSF Preprints operates as a Community-based model in which each service decides their editorial guidelines, acceptable content types, and metadata needs; ultimately, they are trying to move their communities toward open research practices.  They customize how best to meet their community where they are and, collectively, we advance the mission to increase openness of research.

  3. We pursue iterative development in collaboration with communities.  Many features added over the past 3 years originate from community and user requests that ultimately benefit many or all of the services. Highlights: Original date field, peer-reviewed DOI field, crossref DOI minting and schema for metadata, Moderation, Withdrawal, Hypothesis annotation, Google Scholar indexing, and Custom subject taxonomy.

Community feedback from individuals or groups such as Scholcomm Lab is very useful to COS in assessing gaps, misconceptions and possible growth areas, as we advance the road map for OSF Preprints infrastructure with our communities. Support for the open infrastructure is finite.  We benefit greatly from consolidating community interests and needs so that we can prioritize features and maintenance that has the biggest collective benefits for all.  

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